A Prayer for Engaging in Burden-Bearing Love
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Gal. 6:2
(As I bring specific friends to the throne of grace today, do the same with those the Lord brings to mind. We really do need one another.)
Dear Lord Jesus, the call to shoulder up under the burdens of friends and family drives me to you today. Otherwise I’d follow the example of the priest and the Levite in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), and avoid getting involved. Only you know why there’s such an avalanche of broken stories converging on my doorstep at this time. Where else can I go but to you?
Jesus, it’s only because you bore the burden of the law’s demands and judgment for us; only because you steadfastly say to us, “Cast all your care upon me, for I care for you” (1 Pet. 5:7); only because you constantly call to us, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28) that we can take on the heavy burdens of others.
Jesus, here’s what I ask and need from you today: Help me not to be afraid of the emotional messiness that certain burdens bring. Help me know how to rely on your presence more than I rely on my words. I want to be aware of my limits, for sure, but even more aware of your limitless mercy, grace, power, and peace.
For my friend who just discovered she has another skin cancer that’s developed into melanoma; for the couple whose two-year wait to welcome their adoptive child just ended childlessly; for friends who’ve spent tons of money, and who are now emotionally spent, from trying to rescue their daughter from the ravages of an eating disorder.
For friends who are having to pay a great price for a misdiagnosed medical condition; for the couples who are sleeping all alone in the same bed; for the family whose life-weary dad took his life; and for pastor friends who tell me, “This is too much, I cannot sustain the crazy-making of ministry” . . .
Jesus, I bring all of these friends to your throne of grace. How long, Oh Lord, before you return to put all things right? Until then, grant us grace, big grace. So very Amen I pray, in your persistent and sufficient name.